Transform Rockford is pleased to announce it hand-delivered more than 5,000 children’s books to seven local early learning centers and elementary schools in December, surpassing its original goal of 3,000 books. This was all part of the second annual community-wide holiday book drive which took place during the month of November. Community members, businesses and local organizations rallied together and donated new and mint-condition books from infancy through pre-K level, with the goal of bridging the winter break reading gap and putting books in the hands of young students enrolled in early childhood education programs.

“We are overwhelmed with how well this year’s book drive went,” said Transform Rockford Executive Director David Sidney. “Our goal was to deliver to four schools and now we’re up to seven. We received a lot of help and support, particularly from Midland States Bank and United Way and we cannot thank them enough. This is just one more way Transform Rockford is committed to growing our culture of learning and supporting our students and families.”

More than 60 volunteers helped wrap the books and several Transform Rockford Steering Committee members, residents and police officers hand-delivered books to students this week at the following schools:

  • Fairview Early Learning Center (Rockford)
  • Washington Academy (Belvidere)
  • Summerdale Early Learning Center (Rockford)
  • Constance Lane Elementary School (Rockford)
  • Byer Early Learning Center (Rockford)
  • Donald C. Parker Center (Machesney Park)
  • Lewis Lemon Elementary School (Rockford)

“Our second annual holiday book drive was a huge success and it’s thanks to our great community,” said Transform Rockford Steering Committee Chair Christie Jarrett. “We had volunteers delivering bins to locations, picking up books, wrapping books and now they will help deliver the books. Being able to provide 5,000 books to young learners throughout the region is just one more way we are transforming Rockford.”

Transform Rockford would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the organizations and residents who helped make the book drive a huge success – Rockford Public Library locations, Cherry Valley Public Library, Belvidere Ida Public Library, Byron Public Library, YMCA of Rock River Valley, Midland States Bank, Half Priced Books, Barnes and Noble, Larson and Darby, Sharestuff, Rockford Police Districts and Rockford Police officers, Goodwill of Northern Illinois, United Way, Collins Aerospace, Woodward, Manpower and Maxim Healthcare.

To learn more about Transform Rockford and other initiatives that are taking place, contact Strategy & Communications Manager Katryna Kirby at (815) 977-5840 or katryna@transformrockford.org.